Silver Nitrate

Reviewed on 8/20/2021

What Is Silver Nitrate and How Does It Work?

Silver Nitrate is a prescription topical solution used in treating wounds and burns on the skin as an anti-infective agent.

What Are Dosages of Silver Nitrade?

Adult and Pediatric Dosages of Silver Nitrate:

Topical solution

  • 0.5%
  • 10%
  • 25%
  • 50%

Applicator sticks

  • 75%

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Antiseptic Wound Cauterization

Adult and Pediatric:

  • Sticks: Apply to mucous membranes and other moist skin surfaces only on the area to be treated
  • Topical solution: Apply a cotton applicator dipped in solution/ointment on the affected area 2-3 times per week for 2-3 weeks

Supralumbar Kertaconjunctivits (off-label)

  • Apply 0.5-1% solution to anesthetized upper tarsus, allow it to fall back into place over the affected palpebral conjunctiva
  • Irrigate with sterile saline after 1 minute
  • It May be repeated after 4-6 weeks


Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Silver Nitrate?

Side effects of silver nitrate include:

  • burning and skin irritation
  • staining of the skin
  • blood disorder (methemoglobinemia)

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Silver Nitrate?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.

  • Silver nitrate has no known severe interactions with other drugs.
  • Silver nitrate has no known serious interactions with other drugs.
  • Moderate interactions of silver nitrate include:
    • collagenase
    • papain
    • sodium sulfacetamide
    • sulfacetamide topical
    • trypsin
  • Silver nitrate has no known minor interactions with other drugs.

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns, or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Silver Nitrate?


This medication contains silver nitrate. Do not take it if you are allergic to silver nitrate or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.


  • Hypersensitivity
  • Broken skin, wounds, or cuts

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Silver Nitrate?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Silver Nitrate?"


  • Avoid prolonged contact with skin or other surfaces since staining may occur
  • May irritate skin and mucous membranes
  • Do not irrigate eye after application of 1% solution
  • Chemical burns may result from inappropriate use of the product
  • Skin contact time with applicators should be minimal when used in thin delicate skin or neonates

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use silver nitrate during pregnancy with caution if the benefits outweigh the risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available, or neither animal nor human studies were done.
  • Use of silver nitrate when breastfeeding has not been studied. Consult your physician.


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